Praise for A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide by Blaise Alleyne & Jonathon Van Maren

Dr. Ted Fenske is a Clinical Professor with the Division of Cardiology at the University of Alberta, Staff Cardiologist at the C.K. Hui Heart Centre, and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation for the Northern Alberta Program. He has fellowship training in echocardiography and has been the Principal Teaching Physician at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. After reading A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide, a manual on how to persuade people to oppose assisted suicide, he joined a growing list of other medical professionals and offered his endorsement:

Far from exclusively being heard as a rallying cry of the assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia movement, the slogan “death with dignity!” has crept its way into the imagination of our general culture, where it presently sits, smug and triumphant, successfully legislated in Canada under the confusing euphemism of MAID, Medical Assistance In Dying. The populace now generally accepts the death-embracing notion that it is a right to take life in order to prevent our dignity from being undermined by disability and suffering. However, allowing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide to be included within Canadian healthcare service places vulnerable populations in jeopardy, namely the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, and the destitute. In their concise, and readable work “A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide,” Blaise Alleyne and Jonathon Van Maren disarm the pro-euthanasia movement by appealing to the common ground concern of human rights. Beginning by asking the simple question, “when is it right to prevent suicide and when to facilitate it?” they develop a strong case that we must always seek to prevent suicide, regardless of age, disability, or mental state. Using clear and logical argumentation with sample probing questions, these authors equip the reader with useable tools to speak needed wisdom into this floundering culture of death. And not only do these authors effectively dismantle the pro-euthanasia arguments, they provide a positive response as to how we can come alongside those who are suffering and dying, underscoring the importance of palliative care, and the utility of dignity therapy and psychological health resources. As a cardiologist practicing in the fray of a tertiary-care hospital in downtown Edmonton, I couldn’t be more pleased to commend this important and timely work.

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